Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Asked to Resign Over Growing Scandal

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 2 2013 3:10 PM

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Asked to Resign Over Scandal

92698023
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell campaigns with Attorney Genneral Ken Cuccinelli. Both men have been tainted by scandal, and McDonnell has now been asked to resign by a state legislator.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Not too long ago, even after the transvaginal probe debacle, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was seen as a strong contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Now he's an object of scandal and ridicule. An FBI probe revealed that McDonnell failed to disclose expensive gifts from wealthy donors—including designer clothes for his wife, a wedding banquet for his daughter, a hummer stretch limousine, and a Rolex watch—leading to accusations of bribery. Now, the Virgininian-Pilot reports that Fairfax City Senator John Chapman Peterson has called for McDonnell's resignation:

Mark Joseph Stern Mark Joseph Stern

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.

"If you or your family has received gifts of the type alleged, then you should disclose that fully and immediately," Petersen writes in a letter dated July 1.
"If those gifts are retail consumer items which you have retained for personal use, then you should return them immediately to the donor or sell them and donate the money to the Literary Fund," his letter reads. "That is the only method by which the public can regain trust in your Office. Without that trust, there is no purpose in continuing to serve."
If McDonnell is unable or unwilling to address the issue, Petersen offered this recommendation: "You should step down as Governor and permit the Lieutenant Governor to serve out the balance of your term."
Advertisement

The scandal has also tainted Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea Party darling who is currently running to replace McDonnell when his term ends in January.* Cuccinelli violated state law several years ago by failing to disclose $20,000 worth of stock in Star Scientific, a tobacco supplement company currently under federal investigation.

Correction, July 2, 2013: This post originally referred to Ken Cuccinelli as Virginia’s lieutenant governor. He is the state’s attorney general.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.